CAPE MAY - Cape May City Council adopted an ordinance Jan. 21, banning the use of plastic bags and packaging. The action put the county’s namesake resort on a list of over 50 state municipalities that have adopted, or are in the process of adopting, similar restrictions.
Seeking to protect marine life, preserve surrounding waterways and lower the environmental and economic costs of managing waste, the ordinance bans single-use plastic bags, as well as polystyrene and plastic foam products in packaging and food service ware.
The ordinance takes effect 20 days after adoption and advertising, but the city will not enforce the ordinance until the “first day of the seventh month” after the effective date of the ordinance.
The delay in enforcement is meant to give local businesses time to use existing inventory and find new products that meet the ordinance requirements.
Violations of the ordinance can result in a fine of $100 for a first offense, and $500 for subsequent offenses.
In Cape May County, Avalon and Stone Harbor are about to enter the second summer with restrictions on the use of plastic bags, packaging and utensils.